DIY copper picture frame modelling
Copper modelling, as must be known by a great number of the readers of The House, is a simple form of metal work, by means of which hammers, punches, and other requisites of ordinary repoussé are rendered unnecessary. Sheets of copper are obtained, and on these the design is marked; the embossing is then put in from the back, and the modelling from the front, with any small round point. An agate style or simple pencil will do admirably for this purpose. The weakness of the work is, of course, in the extreme tenuity of the material, and in executing large pieces some experience and care is required.
It is for the purpose of brightening up and furbishing, so to speak, other pieces of decorative work that copper modelling is most useful. The little pieces of metal are very cheap and very easy to emboss, and may be filled at the back with a little beeswax or plaster, and will wear hard. In some cases, indeed, they may be merely stuck on with some adhesive like seccotine. In others, tiny brads suffice.
The design given is for a small frame, and the woodwork is comparatively plain, being set off by pieces of modelled copper. The full-size working drawings supplied should be traced, if possible on to linen tracing paper. When all the various parts are so copied, the tracing paper should be pinned over a sheet of copper, and the style or point used to impress lightly in outline the design on the metal. All the pieces may be put on one sheet, and the latter subsequently cut out as required. It would be better to do the cutting out before any attempt at modelling is made, as working on one part is likely to destroy what has been done on another. The work is done on a pad consisting of three or four sheets of blotting paper. When the edges are prepared to be fastened and everything is ready and the metal is wanned, a little melting wax may be poured in.
The piece is then placed with a piece of card or wood over it, so as to smooth over the wax. When all this is cold, the ornament is ready to be applied. Pewter foil or thin brass may be used in place of copper. In answer to several inquiries, I may say that these metals and other requisites for the work may be obtained from Mr. Pringuer, whose address will be found in the advertisement pages.
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Free decorative picture frame stencil
I've included a PDF sketch of the the floral stencil. You can print this off and sketch your designs onto the copper sheet as a DIY project. This will give you an authentic looking Victorian era picture frame edge.